Date of Award

August 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Lian Li

Committee Members

Marija G. Josifovska, Nikolai A. Kouklin, Michael T. Weinert, Daniel F. Agterberg


Gaussian Distribution of Barrier Heights, Graphene, Schottky Junctions, Spatial Inhomogeneous, STM/STS


Graphene, a semimetal with linear energy dispersion, forms Schottky junction when interfaced with a semiconductor. This dissertation presents temperature dependent current-voltage and scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/S) measurements performed on graphene Schottky junctions formed with both three and two dimensional semiconductors.

To fabricate Schottky junctions, we transfer chemical vapor deposited monolayer graphene onto Si- and C-face SiC, Si, GaAs and MoS2 semiconducting substrates using polymer assisted chemical method. We observe three main type of intrinsic spatial inhomogeneities, graphene ripples, ridges and semiconductor steps in STM imaging that can exist at graphene/semiconductor junctions. Tunneling spectroscopy measurements reveal fluctuations in graphene Dirac point position, which is directly related to the Schottky barrier height. We find a direct correlation of Dirac point variation with the topographic undulations of graphene ripples at the graphene/SiC junction. However, no such correlation is established at graphene/Si and Graphene/GaAs junctions and Dirac point variations are attributed to surface states and trapped charges at the interface. In addition to graphene ripples and ridges, we also observe atomic scale moiré patterns at graphene/MoS2 junction due to van der Waals interaction at the interface. Periodic topographic modulations due to moiré pattern do not lead to local variation in graphene Dirac point, indicating that moiré pattern does not contribute to fluctuations in electronic properties of the heterojunction.

We perform temperature dependent current-voltage measurements to investigate the impact of topographic inhomogeneities on electrical properties of the Schottky junctions. We observe temperature dependence in junction parameters, such as Schottky barrier height and ideality factor, for all types of Schottky junctions in forward bias measurements. Standard thermionic emission theory which assumes a perfect smooth interface fails to explain such behavior, hence, we apply a modified emission theory with Gaussian distribution of Schottky barrier heights. The modified theory, applicable to inhomogeneous interfaces, explains the temperature dependent behavior of our Schottky junctions and gives a temperature independent mean barrier height. We attribute the inhomogeneous barrier height to the presence of graphene ripples and ridges in case of SiC and MoS2 while surface states and trapped charges at the interface is dominating in Si and GaAs.

Additionally, we observe bias dependent current and barrier height in reverse bias regime also for all Schottky junctions. To explain such behavior, we consider two types of reverse bias conduction mechanisms; Poole-Frenkel and Schottky emission. We find that Poole-Frenkel emission explains the characteristics of graphene/SiC junctions very well. However, both the mechanism fails to interpret the behavior of graphene/Si and graphene/GaAs Schottky junctions. These findings provide insight into the fundamental physics at the interface of graphene/semiconductor junctions.

Available for download on Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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